Several people have been arrested in Riverside, California in connection with the death of a 35-year-old man who was poisoned with fentanyl in late 2023.
Law enforcement spent a long time looking for the source of the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl, which led to the seizures of a lot of guns and fentanyl.
Christopher Lucia, 35, of Riverside was taken to a nearby hospital in November 2023 because he had been poisoned by fentanyl. Even though doctors tried to help, Lucia never woke up again. She died on November 13th.
Because of his sad death, the Riverside Police Department began a full investigation to find out where the fentanyl came from.
Detectives were able to narrow down the list of people they think gave Lucia the fentanyl to two main people: 30-year-old Riverside resident Jaclyn Sherman and 37-year-old Miguel Garcia.
Detectives also found David Ray Mullins, 46, of Jurupa Valley, who they think was the original source of the fentanyl. Search warrants were used at homes in Riverside and Jurupa Valley that were connected to the suspects.
During the searches, almost a pound of powdered fentanyl was found, along with proof that the suspects had kept selling the dangerous drug even after Lucia’s death. Also, 11 guns were found by investigators.
Sherman and Garcia have been caught and charged with killing Lucia. Sherman is also being charged with having illegal drugs to sell. They are both being held on $1 million bail.
Mullins was caught and will be charged with murder as well as offenses related to drugs and guns. A fourth suspect, who was not named, was also caught with fentanyl.
“In Riverside County, the number of deaths from fentanyl overdoses keeps going up, putting everyone at risk,” said Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez. “We won’t stop fighting to get rid of this deadly poison from our neighborhoods.”
Mike Hestrin, the district attorney for Riverside County, said that his office will keep working closely with police to fight the fentanyl crisis.
“Those who provide fentanyl causing the death of another in Riverside County should expect to be prosecuted for homicide and be held fully accountable for the life they took with this deadly poison,” stated Hestrin.
The investigation into who sold and gave out the fentanyl that killed Lucia is still open. The Riverside Police Department said they don’t have any more information to share at this time.
The sad case shows how fentanyl overdose has terrible effects on communities in California and beyond.